To Save Everything Click Here Pdf Summary Reviews By Evgeny Morozov

To Save Everything Click Here Pdf Summary

The award-winning author of The Net Delusion shows how the radical transparency we’ve become accustomed to online may threaten the spirit of real-life democracy.

In the very near future, technological systems will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions into many more areas of public life: politics, culture, public debate, even our definitions of morality and human values. But how will these be affected once we delegate much of the responsibility for them to technology? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything—from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity—by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior, we may also change the very nature of that behavior itself. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement—but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate what we are doing with it and what it is doing to us.

From urging us to abandon monolithic ideas of “the Internet” to showing how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions, To Save Everything, Click Here is a dazzling tour of our technological future, and a searching investigation into the digital version of an enduring struggle: between man and his machines.

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To Save Everything Click Here Review

Phillip Skaga

4.0 out of 5 stars Can Tech Save the World?

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 31, 2015

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Small print in the title of this book – “The Folly of Tech Solutionism” – pretty much summarizes what it is about if one simply ignores attendant implications, and mind boggling complexity of tech interactions and shortcomings. Morozov begins his narrative with examples of Schmidt (Google) and Zuckerberg (Facebook). Both reflect in public statements their unequivocal conviction tech (web in these cases) and its strengths possess ability to solve world problems. Schmidt is quoted as saying “ . . . if we get this right I believe we can solve all the world’s problems”! A very big ‘if’ it seems to me! So far a most affective use of tech is Anonymous but serving negative goals.
All aspects of present tech changes involve a highly complex network of tools, people, opinions, physical locations, laws, life styles, etc. A combinatorial conundrum experienced, in small ways, in past with telephone books and catalogs but never before in real time. To make these contentions even more incredulous both cited experts say they are not in it for the money? A person recently took me on a tour of her Facebook ‘friends’ pages. She rapidly clicked through hundreds of pages only to comment ’I simply don’t have time to look at all these photos of somebody else’s toys and vacations?” In her case doesn’t seem Facebook serves well its most elementary objective. Zuckerberg and Schmidt are not the only tech optimists. Daily more books are printed with titles such as “Abundance”, “The Future”, “How to Create a Brain”, “Moral Machines”, “Darwin in the Machine”, “Robots Will Steal Your Job”, “Our Final Invention”, “Big Data”, and many others.
Tech accomplishments thus far are very impressive and arriving swiftly, thus a future rapidly becoming our present. As we race into this future there are examples of those studying implications of tech. They are not altogether optimistic or may be with highly qualified conclusions. An Oxford University study observes a realistic probability approaching 50% unemployment for many of 702 U.S. job classifications! Opposing claims are that new tech toys will increase job opportunities? Little if anything using Facebook or Google explicitly addresses problems such as employment. Many other studies look at influence of high tech on employment, environment, organization, political behavior, economic performance, politics and so on. Few of these studies are unqualifiedly optimistic. No tool or person can be conclusive about an indefinite future.
Present tech trends possess at least as much probability of adverse influence as have those in past. Morozov addresses some of these influences. One adverse influence of blogs is on daily news. In his view, with which I agree, bloggers have developed a forum “creating beachheads for manufacturing news”. An example he discusses is Huffington. The modus operandi of these blogs is such one need only respond to a blog, click ‘send’ and promptly forget it. Thus is produced a collection, a sample, of responses with opinions on which a new story can be constructed as an ‘exclusive’. Tech is easily a means of ‘participating’ in public affairs without pain of committing time or physical effort. Governments have also gone through experiments with tech. A Scandanavian country decided the public should be direct source of participation in creating legislation. They set up a system in which a set percent of the population could propose legislation for consideration by government. The program died because there was no mechanism to accommodate sector disagreements let alone ridiculous ideas, special interest motives, legally incomplete or impossible proposals, and so on. One could conclude such a tech process could make worse referendum/initiative tools. Being easier than the time consuming referendum/initiative process could completely paralyze California governing and grow deficits even faster. As early as 1821 Saint Simon proposed that “ . . decisions must be the result of scientific demonstrations totally independent of human will . . “ Didn’t work that way of course and probably won’t soon.
Will there come a day, observes Morozov, when we will pick up a book made by printing and binding a collection of tweets? Probably – but will it be entertaining or informative or useful in any way?
Morosov’s observations are useful but certainly not exhaustive. It is hoped tech optimists will take him seriously. I do.

Burningman

5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable critique to Solutionism

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 20, 2015

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This book is a relentless critique of “solutionism” and “internet centrism”.
Solutionism is the belief that every problem that humankind faces can be solved by the use of algorithms, clever sensors, big data and gamification techniques, while Internet centrism it’s the idea that we are living unique revolutionary times in which time-worn rules do not apply and that “the Internet” is a kind of mythical entity that has predefined rules that are pre-ordained and cannot be tinkered with.
Morozov’s formidable intellect and critical capabilities dismantle these two ideas tirelessly, and his tirades against many of the apostles of these ideologies are almost painful to read, particularly against authors like Lawrence Lessig, Clay Shirky or Kevin Kelly. I think this sentence summarizes well his attitude: “Part of my job is to raise the cost of producing bulls*** in this area, and to make sure people pay for that with shame, with being ridiculed, with harsh reviews, whatever,”

To say that this book is thought provoking would be an understatement. I never thought that there could be so many angles and layers beneath very innocent looking design decisions in our society.

For example there is in principle nothing wrong with using wearable devices to track things like the steps we walk, our weight, blood pressure, etc, particularly if they help us to be healthier. But that information can be used against us by Insurance companies, and in a society where this is widespread, individuals who wouldn’t want to do it will be pressured by society to comply or looked upon as hopeless technophobes or luddites. Sounds far fetched? Well, it happened with cell phones and is now happening with Facebook.

There is also nothing wrong with using technology to reduce crime, but the problem here is the very definition of crime. For example in a “perfect” world incidents like Rosa Parks refusal to give her seat would have not happened, some clever algorithm coupled with face recognition techniques would have detected the problem in advanced and avoided confrontation by not letting a few darker faces to get in the bus in the first place.

Using game mechanics to get people to be better citizens, recycle more, exercise more, etc, also seems like a laudable goal, but after looking at it with morozovian lenses, we realize that it’s not only important to do the right thing, the why is also important. If people are only moved by incentives, they will eventually only move by them and lose any critical thinking capabilities.

In a world ruled by algorithms, there will be less confrontation and more efficiency but less deliberation and citizens would be slowly turned into consumers.

I disagree with Morozov’s constant criticism of geeks, though. Geeks need to be part of the solution not of the problem, not all of them are naive technoutopians who think human beings are automatons, slaves to rational choice theory.

Also, his suggested alternative of designs that generate friction to increase awareness of global problems like the caterpillar extension chord (which twists as in pain when a device is on stand by mode) or the Forget me Not lamp (which progressively gets dimmer), though intriguing and creative, i think will be very difficult to implement in a meaningful way.

All in all, a highly recommended book, it’s not an easy read, but it’s a refreshing voice in the usually uni-dimensional debate about technology, usually only focused on coolness and awesomeness.

Mark Pack

4.0 out of 5 stars Evgeny Morozov keeps you on your toes as you swing from agreeing to disagreeing and back again

Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 8, 2015

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Reading Evgeny Morozov’s book is rather a rollercoaster ride as it swings from well-made criticisms of internet zealots through to arguments with large holes and contentious assumptions.

Given part of Mozorov’s argument is that people are too ready to accept at face value self-confident statements about how the internet is and the world must adjust to it, this rollercoaster does at least achieve his aim of keeping readers on their toes.

If you read more than a handful of pages and don’t find yourself swinging between agreeing, disagreeing and back again then the chances are you’ve not read those pages closely enough.

Mozorov is at his best when attacking how some “internet” values, such as transparency, are idolised – as if a technological context somehow magics away all those occasions when transparency runs up against other factors, such as discretion or forgetting, which also have value.

He is also good on how ‘understanding the internet’ is often used as a misleading synonym for ‘you must apply these different, contentious values’ such as when people demanding that politics adapts to the internet slip in a definition of ‘adapting to the internet’ which means ‘adopting direct democracy’. Direct democracy has both its pros and cons, but it’s not an absolute, unquestioned and inevitable good in the way many internet democracy enthusiasts present it when dressed up in demands that politicians embrace technology. You don’t have to be a luddite to doubt that direct democracy is the right model to adopt – and as Mozorov points out, a true understanding of how the internet is impacting politics means understanding that it can support a multitude of different political models.

When he’s less good is in taking examples of dilemmas and opportunities existing prior to the internet and then arguing not only that the internet doesn’t remake everything anew (true) but also that it hasn’t really changed things at all in many cases (not so true). So whilst it is true that the British government’s 18th century Longitude Prize was an early example of crowdsourcing solutions, Mozorov goes too far in then arguing that the internet hasn’t really made things different when in fact it has made crowdsourcing much easier and more widespread. Something doesn’t have to be completely new to be significant.

Then there are also the quite poor sections, such as when Mozorov argues that using technology to harness reviews and votes, which then in turn determine which content gets produced and prominence – such as songs being promoted on a website in response to prior people’s reviews – will lead to a homogenisation and dumbing down of artistic endeavour and human variety. You can just as well – in fact better – argue that by reducing production, storage and distribution costs, the internet makes variety easier and enables it to flourish.

After all, the sort of books I write are niche and will never get much in the way of bookshelf space in the high street, either now or in the past. Courtesy of the internet, however, they can find an audience without those bookshelf spaces.

These are just a few of the many points I could have covered in this piece, which in the end makes Mozorov’s book definitely one to read; not so much for the extent to which you’ll agree with it but for the extent to which it makes you think.

About Evgeny Morozov Author Of To Save Everything Click Here pdf Book

Evgeny Morozov
Evgeny Morozov

Evgeny Morozov Author Of To Save Everything Click Here pdf Book is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and runs the magazine’s “Net Effect” blog about the Internet’s impact on global politics. Morozov has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, a Yahoo! fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, a fellow at George Soros’s Open Society Institute, and the Director of New Media at Transitions Online.

To Save Everything Click Here pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

To Save Everything Click Here pdf book
To Save Everything Click Here pdf book
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ PublicAffairs; 45555th edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1610391381
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1610391382
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.7 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #595,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #42 in User Generated Content (Books)
  • #995 in Political Intelligence
  • #3,041 in Political Leader Biographies
  • Customer Reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars    111 ratings

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